Blanc Biehn Productions Article
How Mark Gantt Has Changed The Way Things Are Done In Horror
Mark Gantt is a multi-talented film industry professional who has done it all at one time or another. He is well known for being an actor, director, producer, and writer. However, when new filmmakers look at his work, they are often drawn to the amazing way he has used the internet.
Mark Gantt didn’t actually get his start in horror, but probably made the greatest early impact in his role as Neal Bannen and executive producer of “The Bannen Way.” This crime drama series helped him to draw on his own experiences as a member of a law enforcement family.
“The Bannen Way” was carried as a completely exclusive online experience, and won a Streamy Award for its outstanding writing, acting, direction and production. During this time, Mark had to fight for the production to be recognized, since it was “geoblocked” and not available to the entire World Wide Web.
The quality of “The Bannen Way” helped to change the Streamys, leading to a ruling that geoblocked content was eligible for the award. Besides this, Gantt was able to demonstrate that a web-only focus could build up a dedicated following while reducing production costs.
At The BB Basement, we respect everything Mark has done so far — so it’s important to direct some attention to his latest achievement, the successful crowd funding of “The Night Visitor.”
“The Night Visitor” Achieved Production Faster Thanks To Mark Gantt’s Savvy
Following his success with “The Bannen Way,” Mark was looking for innovative ways to bring his vision to life and he found it in the form of Kickstarter. Kickstarter was the perfect platform to fund “The Night Visitor,” and he used it expertly.
“The Night Visitor” was a horror/sci-fi tale about a family in turmoil. A couple must struggle to save their marriage while protecting their son from an invisible “Night Visitor” with terrible powers.
With the success of “The Night Visitor,” the path was open to “The Night Visitor 2: Heather’s Story,” which will continue the tale. Naturally, the collaboration between Mark Gantt and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn will continue as well!
Wondering how to get your creative ambitions realized? It’s important to carry the same spirit of creativity and innovation into your funding and marketing that you do in your acting and directing. Mark Gantt has definitely shown how to do it — and we foresee great things for him in the future!
On Set of TNT's MAJOR CRIMES
LIFELINE - Photos from set
Written and Directed by Jeffrey Wang and starring Mark Gantt and Kathleen Gati.
EXAMINER: Lifetime Film Article
Since its inception in the year, 2009, the crowdfunding organization known as Kickstarter has claimed to have raised over one billion dollars in donations to fund more than one hundred thirty-five thousand projects of artistic ventures of various sizes. There have been many success stories and many recent ones include the Veronica Mars motion picture. The latest success story involves an ambitious and very talented couple whose list of credits in the entertainment industry is stunningly impressive. Heather and Jeffery Wang have worked on a number of impressive projects which include "Justified," "Breaking Bad," "Lone Survivor" and "A Million Way to Die in the West."
The talented duo started a Kickstarter campaign in order to direct and produce a short horror film entitled, "Lifeline." The short film is based on a story written by Jeffery Wang of which he has also just completed directing on June 1st. I was given details of the project by actor, producer, writer and director, Mark Gantt who is one of the leads in the short. This interview took place after the short film's principal photography wrapped and the two were able to catch their breath after a whirlwind filming schedule.
Oscar: I have read the information on your Kickstarter campaign pitch and have viewed your video. I am impressed! Your influences are well stated in your campaign. Will you be trying to create a similar visual quality that many of the horror film of the 80's had?
DREAD CENTRAL: Exlusive Photos from the set of THE NIGHT VISITOR 2: HEATHER'S STORY
We told you recently that production has kicked off on The Night Visitor 2: Heather's Story, the sequel to The Night Visitor; and today we have a gallery's worth of exclusive stills and behind-the-scenes images from the shoot to share.
The film is directed by Brianne Davis (The Night Visitor, "True Blood," Prom Night) and produced by Blanc/Biehn Productions and Lony Ruhmann in association with Give & Take Productions. Caitlin Carmichael, Mark Gantt, Chip Coffey, and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn star.
The Night Visitor 2: Heather’s Story was written by Kevin and Bradley Marcus and Mark Gantt. Executive producers include Lony Ruhmann, Jennifer Blanc-Biehn, Michael Biehn, and Brianne Davis. The film is produced by Mark Gantt and Dylan Matlock.
Thanks to Oscar Benjamin and Mike Skillsky for the photos.
The Night Visitor 2: Heather’s Story is a sci-fi thriller that runs parallel to the original The Night Visitor, telling the story of Heather (Carmichael), a special young girl who must protect her family and the planet from the same other-earthly being. The sequel delves deeper into the mysteries that plagued the Stevens family and their son, Ricky, with the help of psychic and medium Daniel (Coffey).
EXAMINER: Brianne Davis, Mark Gantt and Gary Cairns II unleash "The Night Visitor"
One of the many pleasures of attending a film festival like the recent Another Hole in the Hole Film Festival is discovering films in a theater setting that you may otherwise not discover on your own. This Examiner.com columnist had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Brianne Davis, Mark Gantt and Gary Cairns who are three of the principal actors and producers of the independent horror and science fiction film known as The Night Visitor.
The Night Visitor chronicles the tell of an estranged couple as played by Brianne Davis and Gary Cairns who solicit the help of a spiritualist to help them resolve their marital issues. The spiritualist suggests that they begin to film themselves in order to help them rediscover their love. In the process, the couple discover that their son is in communication with an unseen entity whose intentions are unknown. The Night Visitor also marks the directorial debut of actress and now director, Jennifer Blanc-Biehn.
The interview began with an explanation of the title and how it relates to the story of The Night Visitor. Co-executive producer, Mark Gantt begins, "Lony Ruhmann who is our executive producer came up with the story idea along with Night Visitor 2 and 3 and 4. Lony is very interested in the story of these kids being able to communicate with beings from another planet and for him this is very real-it is something he believes in. This is something that happens at night to these children and he is trying to explore that in these four movies." Gantt continues, "what happens to these children that are overtly sensitive as they communicate with these beings."
The Night Visitor was very well received at the film festival and once again demonstrates how successful a Kickstarter funding campaign can truly be. Once again, Mark Gantt has thoughts on the subject. Mark speaks, "it is a great way to build a grass roots audience and a fan base that sometimes just comes to help. What is exciting is that within a year there will be a bill passed by Congress that allows us to basically do Kickstarter with everyone getting a piece of the pie. Instead of donating money, a person can be an actual investor in the movie." Excitement continues to build in Mark's voice. Gantt further explains, "independent filmmakers can go to the public and explain their budget and state to those that are putting up money that they will all be owners in the film. Hollywood does not want it because it is going to give us the power!"
The star of the film is Brianne Davis who impressed this reporter and so many with her head turning performance in Among Friends. She has the task of shouldering a fair amount of screen time in The Night Visitor. Her performance in The Night Visitor cements her in this columnist's head as being more than a strikingly beautiful woman. She creates a character in Jen who is on the edge of turmoil and the subtle performance delivered by Brianne is truly one of the highlights of the film. Davis addresses this and replies, "There is so much turmoil going inside my character of Jen that I have to go through so many things. Being concerned for my child, holding my marriage together and trying to decide if we stay or go. I hope I did a great job. As an actress I am my own worst critic, but I feel really lucky to have done it and I am really excited to be directing the second one!"
The other major starring role in the film belongs to that of Gary Cairns II. The actor was given very little prep time which reflected the hectic and breakneck pacing of the filming which caused the actor to explain, "you are as great as you with! It was actually pretty smooth for me. If it was a bunch of amateurs it would have been very painful and I wouldn't be here right now! The hardest thing was just figuring out what we going to do with the cameras. One of the cameras is a character in itself!" Brianne Davis further adds, "working with that camera was a new experience for the both of us, especially Gary who had to act with the camera many times."
Producer, Mark Gantt has had the good fortune of being part of low and rather extravagantly budgeted films throughout his career as an actor and producer. His observations on the dynamics and chemistry of a film crew is fascinating and very illuminating. Gantt explains, "you are like a family-immediately! You don't know anybody else! You automatically bond. I was doing one of Jennifer's(Blanc-Biehn) films-Hidden in the Woods and one of the actors hated the fact that as he has gotten bigger, they put him up in a separate hotel from the cast and crew. This actor basically wanted to be with everybody so then we he went out to eat he could bond with the other actors, the DP and the AC. When we are on set, we are looking at each other and we are in a vibe and we are a machine!" Mark continues, " on The Night Visitor, we all got along immediately and had a great time. It was such a small crew and nobody sat around waiting for something to happen. Gary would move a light there and everybody was doing their jobs and other jobs also!"
The Night Visitor is the first of a proposed series of films about possible visitations and abductions by aliens from another world. It was announced that actress, Brianne Davis is going to take over directorial duties for the second film. Davis discusses the exciting news. Brianne begins, "I am very excited! When Jen(Blanc-Biehn), Mark and I were talking about the second one I said I could do this and I have been working in movies for a long time. I got to watch Jen directing the kid and I really loved it. I know the story, I know everybody on the set and I know how it works and I can direct it!" Davis continues, "you learn from every director that you work with! You get to a certain point where you know how to tell a story."
There appeared to be an interesting theme throughout the interview and that was of opportunity and individuals daring to run with opportunities! The Night Visitor allowed actress Jennifer Blanc-Biehn to continue to grow not only as an actress but now as a director. The sequel will now be Brianne Davis' directorial debut. Perhaps the individual running with the ball the furthest is actor, photographer and producer, Mark Gantt. Gantt is the epitome of the classic character actor that can always be counted on to deliver a solid performance that many times will elevate the film that he has been cast in. Mark Gantt is more than a handsome face as he explains his progression to being a reliable producer. Gantt speaks, "as an actor waiting for my career to happen that was not happening basically I started creating my own projects. I found that I could put people together-how do I get that DP with that director and how do I get this together. I feel like I am good at it and it definitely comes easy for me. I have worked behind the camera in every department-from being an actor, a prop guy, a grip, electrician, photographer, assistant director and production assistant. It really gives me the advantage over another producer because I know the language and I could do everybody's job!" Mark concludes, "I really want to continue to do this because I love doing this. I love working with talented people. Directors or actors-I love putting people together!"
Films like The Night Visitor represent a growing decentralization of the film-making process away from familiar mega studio brands such as Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers and Universal Pictures. Although movies released by these aforementioned studios will continue to dominate the film landscape for the conceivable future, there can be no argument that the independent film funded from diverse sources will continue to capture the imagination of the movie loving public. Passionate and intellectual film creators such as Jennifer Blanc-Biehn, Brianne Davis and Mark Gantt continue to demonstrate that imagination, enthusiasm and sheer confidence will trump wanton and sometimes reckless expenditure of money. Brianne Davis and Mark Gantt will continue to realize their visions under their production company called, Give & Take Productions. Their next film to be directed by Mark Gantt is called, A Place Apart which was written by J.L. Blakely and will star Brianne Davis. This columnist looks forward to discovering the further visions to be found in The Night Visitor and am quite confident many more will also be of the same mind set as further films are released.
Odin's Eye picks up two thrillers
EXCLUSIVE: Sales agent takes worldwide rights on Lemon Tree Passage and 2nd Reign of Night.
Sales agent Odin’s Eye Entertainment (OEE) has acquired worldwide sales rights to two supernatural thrillers made on different sides of the planet: Lemon Tree Passage from Australia, and 2nd Reign of Night from Spain.
Writer/director Antoni Sole’s directorial debut was filmed in Barcelona in English. Sole will get a producing credit too alongside Loris Curci, who has recently also been busy on the US thriller Hidden In The Woods.
2nd Reign of Night tells of an eminent anthropologist, played by Mark Gantt (Hidden In The Woods, The Night Visitor) who, by translating an ancient text, unwittingly resurrects an Egyptian god that plunges the world into eternal darkness. The film is still in post-production and OEE will be screening a promo at EFM.
The writer/director of Lemon Tree Passage is David Campbell and the producer is Jeremy Ervine. The pair sold the advertising agency they jointly owned in order to go into film production.
The privately-financed thriller is inspired by a media report about a stretch of road that locals say is haunted by the ghost of a motorcyclist who died in an accident. In the script a group of teenagers come to deeply regret their decision to test if the ghost exists.
OEE head Michael Favelle sold Middle East & North African rights to Shooting Stars on the eve of EFM and is due to screen the film for the first time there on Feb 8.
“I’ve noticed there seems to be a rise in entrepreneurial and younger Australian filmmakers setting out to make internationally commercial films that usually would not sit within conventional government funding scenarios,” Favelle told Screendaily.
“These tend to be films that perform better overseas than they do at home. That said, we do expect Lemon Tree Passage to perform at a theatrical level here in Australia.”
ALIEN BEE NEWS: The Night Visitor (Review)
New Production Company Formed
After successfully working together producing THE NIGHT VISITOR, my lovely fiance, Brianne Davis and I have started our own production company. We're in pre-production on the sequel to THE NIGHT VISITOR, developing SKIPPING TIME and recently optioned drama/thriller script A PLACE APART.
Check out the site
Watch Short Film DONOR - Directed by Mark Gantt
SNAG FILMS distributes DONOR
Thanks to SNAG FILMS who have partnered with the Unofficial Google Plus Film Festival this year, DONOR will be distributed through SnagFilms! Last year, Alexis Boozer won BEST ACTRESS in the festival for her performance in DONOR.
Check it out: WATCH HERE
Donor Website: http://donorshortfilm.com
Red Carpet Report article on Mark's Photography Exhibit
We Talk with Award-winning Actor/Director, Mark Gantt, at his Beverly Hills Photo Exhibit Opening About Making It Happen
The Red Carpet Report team was on hand for Award-winning Actor/Director Mark Gantt’s gallery opening in Beverly Hills. The photos included work done with Dennis Hopper and tells stories with images captured through the eye of a passionate artist. It also happened to be a night of birthday celebrations for the artist as he was surprised with a cake by his fiancé, actress Brianne Davis.
CHECK OUT PHOTOS
We asked Mark what inspires him when he looks into the lens and he told us “I think it’s just in my DNA. As a kid I was a daydreamer, a lot of it would be based on something I’d seen and I would create a world or a reality based on that. As I got older, I’ve tried to take those ‘daydreams’ and turn them into stories. Even when I’m acting, I’m thinking of things in a visual sense.”
One of the things we admire about Gantt is his spirit to “make things happen” and not just wait around. On the way to the gallery opening, we saw someone with a cardboard sign saying “I Want to be Famous. www.HISWEB.com” and thought, well at least he is honest. Here’s what Mark shared with us: “My best advise is to just do it and know that it’s going to be incredibly difficult to accomplish. The act itself is not the hard part, it’s the voices in your head that tell you that your no good, that nobody will like it, that others do it better, that you are too old, too inexperienced blah blah blah blah. I think there is a feeling that if I’m doing what is true to my heart that it should be easy and fun, the truth is, that’s when our inner demons strike out most. Being big and being seen can be the most difficult things to confront. So I say, put it out there, make sure you have a trusted few who you can count on for ‘facts’ and leave everyone’s opinion on the curb. Somebody said a brilliant thing to me the other day; “It’s in the best interest for everyone involved for you to stay the same and not change.” Keeps everyone safe and comfortable. Well screw safe!”
Mark is always working, he’s in front of or behind the camera in many different “media” ways. Here’s some of the projects that he’s completed and have upcoming: “We’ve just finished post-production on THE NIGHT VISITOR, a film I produced and act in alongside my fiancé, Brianne Davis who stars in the film.” “We are gearing up to shoot the sequel in February, THE NIGHT VISTOR 2: HEATHER’S STORY starring myself and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn (who directed the first one) with Brianne directing her first feature. I’ve got two series that I’ve shot sizzle reels for and will be out pitching; ANNIE TAKES OFF a female driven comedy on a plane and WHOA! a comedy about condo living and the Home Owners Association. I’ve also got two projects I’m directing next year, SEVVEN, a sci-fi/thriller short film written and starring Taryn O’Neill and SKIPPING TIME, a feature under the Blanc-Biehn Productions shingle.
He also added that he’s going to be “shooting the second season of Canadian TV series BLUFF, feature film GET BACK JOE, directed by Patrick Rea (NAILBITER) and the film I completed in September, THE SECOND REIGN OF NIGHT will be with our sales agent at the Berlin Film Festival and Sundance next year.”
Limited Editions Available
There are still a few items left from his gallery opening and are going fast this week. If you’d like to check out his work, visit him at Be sure to connect with him socially on Facebook, Twitter or go to his online photography website to see what’s available to purchase from the gallery opening which includes original work framed, unframed and all in limited editions signed by the artist.
For more info or to purchase, see http://ganttphotography.com or LIKE on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/markganttphotography
Mark also does workshops – so if you’re in the entertainment business or want to be or if you need an engaging speaker, be sure to check his website out at www.MarkGantt.com or follow on Facebook.
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NOVEMBER 3 - 16
Acting in PROJECT X
- a play at Beverly Hills Playhouse
Shooting pick up shots for SECOND REIGN OF NIGHT
Shooting CADILLAC Commercial
Shooting Top-Of-Show Guest-star on TNT's MAJOR CRIMES
Shooting begins on LIFELINE opposite Kathleen Gati(General Hospital)
Begin filming THE NIGHT VISITOR 2: HEATHER'S STORY starring Mark Gantt, Jennifer Blanc, Caitlin Carmichael, Brianne Davis, Gary Cairns, Hudson Pischer and Chip Coffey. The film will be directed by Brianne Davis.
THE NIGHT VISITOR screens as part of the ANOTHER HOLE IN THE HEAD FESTIVAL in San Francisco.
Shooting Los Angeles portion of THE SECOND REIGN OF NIGHT
Mark begins shooting lead role in THE SECOND REIGN OF NIGHT, written and directed by Antoni Sole. Shooting in Barcelona, Spain.
Begin shooting HIDDEN IN THE WOODS in Houston, Texas opposite William Forsythe.
On panel for SAG-AFTRA's Liferaft with Yuri Baravovsky, Ian Moffit, Helena Santos and Zadi Diaz.
Shooting Pilot D-TEC, a series for new second screen technology Samsung.
Begin shooting THE NIGHT VISITOR. Produced by Mark Gantt, Directed by Jennifer Blanc-Biehn and starring Brianne Davis, Gary Cairns, Tara Buck, Jennifer Blanc-Biehn and Mark Gantt.
Booked new feature film HIDDEN IN THE WOODS. They are shooting the English Language version with Michael Biehn.
Final day of shooting on WHOA! with Taryn Southern, Linda Blair and Leslie Jordan.
First season of new digital series THE INN launches. Created by Steve Silvmeran and stars Crystal Chappell and myself. I come towards the end of this season.
Shooting great film with Joe Penna again. Very excited about this project!
JANUARY 19 - 20
Shooting pilot presentation for new digital series WHOA! Created by Scott Richter, starring Linda Blair and myself!
Shooting scenes from new feature film FINDING CALI
Alexis Boozer wins Best Overall Actress
Begin shooting new digital series THE INN opposite Crystal Chappell (Days of Our Lives, Guiding Light, Venice the series)
Created by Steven Silverman (Pretty The Series)
First Glance Film Festival - Philadelphia
I won BEST DIRECTOR for DONOR!
Speaking at the 2nd Annual
Shooting new TV Series BLUFF in Calgary, Alberta created by Jewelle Colwell
Shooting new series MERIDIAN by Joe Penna (MysteryGuitarMan) with Orlando Jones. Yeah I'm playing that douchy office manager.
Producing new online series
Created and Executive Produced by Sybil Temtchine & Steve Peros
Directed by Perry Andelin Blake
Executive Produced by Mark Gantt
Starring: Sybil Temtchine, Dennis Dugan, Frank Coraci, Eric Avari, Gwendolyn Yeo, Mark Gantt, Brianne Davis and Michael Lerner
Completed shooting Pilot Presentation THE PROGRAM that I produced and starred in.
Created by Matt Lutz, Directed by Dylan Mulick
With Robert Forster, Kate Siegel and Brett Fliesher
Attending AMONG FRIENDS screening at Universal City
Shannen Doherty honored for Best Individual Performance from the 2012 Webby Awards in the SUITE 7 episode "Company" that Mark directed. Episode was written by Yuri Baranovsky and stars Shannen and Wilson Cleveland.
SECRET PROJECT REVEALED - I'm shooting HUNGER GAMES fan film STAR SQUAD playing Dr. Aurelius.
Shooting a few episodes of new digital series.
Check out the latest videos and clips from my projects and my favorite videos.